FIBA Men U18: One day remains in R2 QFs next

FIBA Men U18
Croatia’s Domagoj Bosnjak takes a last second shot for the win against Russia, but comes up short. Bosnjak’s reaction to missing the shot is shown in the bottom of the picture…

With one day remaining in Round 2 of the FIBA Men U18 European Champions, there are still many clubs with an opportunity to move on to the quarterfinals. Turkey remains undefeated at 4-0 with three other clubs sitting at 2-2 in Group F. In Group E France and Russia are at the top of the list at 3-1, earning spots in the quarters, with three others sitting at 2-2.

As of the Tuesday contests Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Bezenkov is the leading scorer with 23.2 points per game, Domantas Sabonis of Lithuania is the leading rebounder with 13.4 boards per game, and Matci Rebec of Slovenia tops the assist board with 8.4.

Group E
Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina, 77:51
Serbia picked up their second win in Group E with another big point differential, this time putting up 26 on the Bosnia and Herzegovina squad in a 77:51 decision. BIH was held to 16 points in the first half, having scored only nine in the first 10 and 7 in the second. The Serbians were sharp in the first half, with their tough defense holding BIH to 18% on their way to the 16 points they scored.

In the second half Serbia cruised to the win, while BIH was able to outscore their opponents 35:32, but the first half gap was too much to overcome and they ended the day at the bottom of Group E with an 0-4 record. Serbia improved to 2-2, tied with two other clubs in third place in the group behind France and Russia, both at 3-1.

Vasilije Vucetic led Serbia with 10 points, and Imran Polutak paced BIH with 16.

Czech Republic – France, 73:71
The Czech Republic handed France their first loss of the tournament after a strong first half where they built a 42:35 advantage. The French took the lead in the third frame, outscoring the Czechs 21:12 to head into the final frame up 56:54.

France gave up their lead early in the fourth when the Czech Republic opened the quarter on a 10:4 run to retake the lead. France had an opportunity for the win at the buzzer, but Damien Inglis missed a triple, giving the Czech’s the contest, 73:71.

Prokop Slanina hit an 18P/10R double-double off the bench for the Czech Republic and Jiri Soula dropped in 11. Axel Bouteille led France with a game-high 21 points.

Russia – Lithuania, 68:59
Russia grabbed a spot in the quarterfinals with a 68:59 win over Lithuania. The Russians improved their Group E record to 3-1, while the Lithuanians dropped to 2-2, tied for Serbia and the Czech Republic.

Russia took the early advantage getting up 18:7 after the first 10, but the Lithuanians cut that lead by three, outscoring Russia 18:15 in the second. Heading into the break after the first 20 minutes, Russia held a 33:25 lead.

The lead was extended by six in the third frame with a 15:9 advantage for the Russians. Lithuania was able to cut the lead to seven early in the fourth, but Russia put up a 14:6 run to put the contest away and earn their spot in the Quarters.

Viacheslav Fedorchenko was game-high for Russia with 21 points and Ricardas Verbickas was high-man for Lithuania with 15.

Group F
Italy – England, 57:37
Italy came out in front of a rather dismal offensive contest on both sides of the court. The Italians held England to two points in the first quarter, getting out in front 12:2 after the first quarter. The English squad got their form in the second and outscored Italy 14:12, but still found themselves with only 16 points in the first half, falling behind 24:16 at break.

The Italians added four in the third and then put the game away in the fourth outscoring England 21:13 in the final 10. England was only able to connect on 26% of their shots during the contest.

Simone Fontecchio was team-high with 19 points for Italy while Kingsley Okoroh just missed a double-double, contributing 8 points and 10 rebounds to England’s totals.

Turkey – Latvia, 64:62
Turkey fought back from a seven-point deficit with just over four minutes to play to pick up their fourth win of Group F, locking up a spot in quarterfinals with a 64:62 win over host club Latvia.

The hosts got the early lead, getting out 20:13 at the beginning of the first frame, with Turkey taking the second quarter 17:14. As the clubs headed into the dressing rooms at the half with Latvia up 34:30.

Latvia got up 45:35 with just under four minutes to play in the third, but then Turkey countered with a 12:2 run to knot the score at 47 heading into the final 10. After the clubs exchanged baskets to open the last quarter, Latvia ran off seven unanswered to get up 56:49 with four minutes to play. Latvia got a triple to get up 59:53 with just under three minutes left. Turkey then hit the next 11 to hold a 64:59 lead with 12 seconds to play. Anzejs Pasecniks got a three-pointer off with a second remaining for the win, but came up short keeping Turkey undefeated and dripping Latvia to 2-2.

Okben Ulubay was high-man for Turkey with 19 points and Pasecniks led the Latvian squad with 24 points and 9 rebounds.

Spain – Croatia, 64:63
Spain stayed in the top half of Group F with a 64:63 win over Croatia, dropping them to 1-3 and the bottom of the group. Croatia will conclude Round 2 with a match with Italy, while Spain will end with the top club Turkey.

Croatia held a 17:11 lead at the end of the first quarter, but gave back four in the second with a 24:20 advantage to take a 37:35 lead at the break.

Spain took control of the contest in the third frame with a 14:0 run, ending the third 10 up 52:45.

The beginning of the fourth had the Croatians go on a 9:2 run to knot the score at 54 with just under seven minutes to play in the game. Spain ran off eight unanswered to get up 64:56 with two and a half minutes to play. It would prove to be the last time the Spaniards would hit the cords, while Croatia would score the final seven, to pull to within a point at 64:63. Spain’s Agusti Sans missed a lay-up with three seconds to play, which gave Croatia a final shot, but a Domagoj Bosnjak came up empty with a last second triple, giving Spain the win.

Sans was game-high for Spain with 25, Ilimane Diop added 12 to the victory. Tomislav Gabric and Marko Arapovic dropped in 13 points for Croatia.

FIBA Men U18 European Championships

Group E Matches[matches league_id=33 group=E template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings – Group E[standings league_id=33 group=E show_website=false template=nolink]

Group F Matches[matches league_id=33 group=F template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings – Group F[standings league_id=33 group=F show_website=false template=nolink]

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